- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 9, 2011

ALLEN PARK, MICH. (AP) - Mike Bell and Jerome Harrison enjoyed seeing each other Tuesday _ their first day with the Detroit Lions.

It was a much happier occasion than the last time they had been together.

Ten months after being traded for each other, Bell and Harrison were signed Monday night by the Lions, a few hours after promising rookie Mikel Leshoure tore his left Achilles tendon, ending his season before it began.

“We needed some running backs with Leshoure’s injury and Maurice Morris still not cleared for contact with his (broken) hand,” Lions coach Jim Schwartz said Tuesday. “Now we’ve been able to bring in two quality players with NFL experience.”


Last October, Bell was traded from Philadelphia to Cleveland for Harrison, and the pair ran into each other en route to their new homes.

“We were in the Cleveland airport at about midnight, and I was getting off a plane and Jerome was waiting to get on,” Bell said. “He had a mad face and I had a mad face. He said ‘hey’ and I said ‘hey.’ That was about it.”

Bell and Harrison knew each other in the Pac-10 _ Harrison played at Washington State and Bell was at Arizona _ and played on the same team in the Senior Bowl.

Now, both players are getting a chance they never expected to get.

For Bell, it is just another shot at the NFL. He rushed for only 99 yards last season between the Eagles and Browns, and thought his career was probably over.

“I was so unproductive last season that I didn’t think my phone would ring,” he said. “I was behind a Pro Bowl-caliber player in Philly in LeSean McCoy, then behind a Pro Bowl-caliber player in Peyton Hillis. I didn’t get much of a shot, and I thought that was probably it.”

That’s why he didn’t hesitate when he got the call in Colorado on Monday.

“I wasn’t going to wait for a second offer,” he said. “I got on the first thing smoking toward Detroit.”

Harrison knew he would get another chance because it has been less than two years since he broke Jim Brown’s Cleveland rushing record with a 286-yard game against the Chiefs.

“That day was a dream come true, to go past Jim Brown for a record,” he said. “But I don’t think much about that day. I’ll think about that when I’m done.”

The Michigan native, though, was thrilled when a call came from the Lions.

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